Mandi Allen: A New Member of the Counseling Department at WSC

Iliana Rosabal-Perez, News Writer

Mandi Allen is welcomed as a new member of the Counseling Department at Wayne State College. 

“After leaving for several years, coming back and being able to serve my alma mater has been exciting,” Allen said. “In a weird sort of way, it feels like I’m ‘home’ and right where I need to be. Everyone has been welcoming, so kind, and helpful.” 

Allen is part of a team of four experts.  

“[The Counseling Department] focuses on improving the health and well-being of students attending WSC,” Alicia Dorcey McIntosh, the associate vice president for Student Affairs and the head of the Counseling Department, said. “We provide health services, as well as mental health counseling. Our staff provide prevention, outreach, and educational services. And Mandi is our newest mental health counselor.” 

From a young age, Allen was attracted to this work that has committed her for life.  

“My high school had a group called ‘Student Action Volunteers’ that worked closely with the school counselors,” Allen said. “My senior year, I was involved in student action volunteering which led me to the decision to go into the counseling field. I worked at an emergency shelter for youth during my internship for my bachelor’s degree which ignited a passion in me to serve in the human counseling field.” 

She relates that before coming to WSC she was providing counseling services at an agency in Sioux City, Iowa; and offered her help for a brief period at the Child Advocacy Center for child abuse victims.  

Among her colleagues, Allen’s contribution and personality are highly appreciated.  

“Mandi provides individual therapy to students,” Dorcey McIntosh said. “She works with student on anxiety, depression, trauma and other mental health issues. She is an outgoing spirit, has a good sense of humor, and easily connects to students.” 

As might be assumed, such work and dedication to the personalized service of others also poses challenges to the professional, and even personal, life of the counselor. After all, “counselors are human beings. We each have our own personality that we bring to the therapeutic relationship,” Dorcey McIntosh said. 

“I believe that one of the biggest challenges in the profession thus far has been establishing personal boundaries,” Allen said. “What I mean when I say that is people are entrusting you with very personal life stuff and sometimes at the end of the day it is difficult to turn your brain off.” 

Allen, who earned her bachelor’s and graduate degrees at WSC in 2007 and 2009 respectively, confesses that she feels at home once she returned to her alma mater. What she has followed is to workday by day to realize her own goal here.  

“My personal mission in the department is to meet each student where they are in life’s journey and be a smiling face on campus that brings that ‘home’ feeling to someone going through a difficult time,” Allen said. 

WSC community should know that the Health and Student Counseling Department has its doors open, and a staff and service of excellency willing to open-minded listening.  

All of our counselors are highly trained in clinical skills and ethics,” Dorcey McIntosh said. “All of the counselors at WSC are here to help students develop healthy coping strategies and a healthy identity. Seek opportunities to learn about self and others, this could be through classes, campus groups and organizations, and self-help opportunities.” 

As the newest member of the counseling team, Allen is more than available and declares herself gladly involved in to accompany everyone.  

“I want to say thank you for the opportunity to be here,” she said. “Never be afraid to ask the question if you are in need of help. The team I work with strive to show up every day and give you their be